TOFT’S hopes of sustaining a challenge for the Cheshire County League’s Premier Division title appear to have been dashed after they suffered a second successive defeat.

The Knutsford outfit were again involved in a tense finish, this time at Timperley, after posting 190 all out.

James Scott (22) and Scott Craig (37) contributed, but their side appeared in trouble at 127-8 before Joe Gates (41 off 18 balls) struck four fours and as many sixes in a ninth-wicket stand worth 52 with Andrew Jackson (4).

The home team attacked from the start of their reply, led by overseas opener Danny Cooper (45), before Toft rallied and reduced them to 119-6.

They continued to apply pressure, with Jackson (4-31) and Rob Jones (2-53) the most successful of their bowlers, before the hosts edged to their victory target at 192-9 with Nathan Brown (34no) at the crease.

Toby Drummond’s men visit defending champions Alderley Edge, who have lost three of their past four top-flight fixtures, this weekend.

Toft’s seconds passed 400 points for the campaign with a 45-run victory over their Timperley counterparts at Booth’s Park.

They put on 187-8 after openers Ed Stubbs (49) and Joe Stanley (59) had shared in a century partnership for the first wicket.

However only Dan Gibbon (29no) chipped in later.

The Knutsford outfit’s bowlers were too good though, dismissing the visitors for 142 with chairman Nigel Muirhead (3-12) and Pete Talbot (3-32) among the wickets.

They host Alderley Edge next.

Toft’s third claimed a final-over success against their Macclesfield counterparts on Sunday, when they successfully chased 149 to win.

Richard Scott (5-14) and James Hodgson (3-25) had been the pick of their bowlers, restricting Macc to 148-9.

Captain Will Dunkerley (39) batted positively before a sixth-wicket stand between Freddie Pass (29no) and Josh Green (21) restored order after a collapse.

Toft duly closed on 149-7 with three balls to spare.

Their lead over Haslington, their hosts this weekend, at the Sunday Central Division summit is 30 points as a result.